important legal noticePlease Note:

The information contained in this web site, article or link may be outdated, incorrect or not applicable; it is your obligation to confirm the accuracy.

It is very important that you obtain legal advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney regarding your particular situation. Consultation before you take action will certainly cost you less than it will cost to fix your unintentional errors.

The information in this web site is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

Do you feel alone, scared or lost..

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(perhaps all three)?


gift

Here is my gift to you – watch this wonderful video “Stand by Me” (make sure to turn on your speakers and watch the names and locations of the musicians.)

STOP: before you go any further please take three minutes to watch this wonderful video.  Trust me, you will be glad you did.

First and Foremost, Please Do Not Feel Embarrassed!



Did you choose to put yourself into this financial situation?  Of course not.  But you are choosing to ask for help.

Fortunately, you are smart enough to search for information about bankruptcy so that you can make an informed decision if bankruptcy is an option and what the consequences may be. What you may not know is that bankruptcy is a constitutional right.


John AdamsLiberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.

John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law 1765.



Many of you begin our initial discussion with an apology for your current financial situation.  Absolutely no apology is necessary.

There has never been financial certainty for anyone, including governments.  So how can you possibly guaranty financial certainty in your daily life?  Your situation is affected by circumstances rarely in your control – health, employment, divorce, economy of the country, climate changes, new business policies, just to name a few.

Bankruptcy is a constitutional right.

As of 1789 the US Constitution Art. 1, Section 8, Clause 4 empowered Congress to enact bankruptcy law to help all citizens receive a fresh start. The first bankruptcy law was enacted in 1800.  Obviously, this option has been seen as a valuable method to protect our citizens.  So, never feel that you must apologize to me and anyone else for choosing this constitutional protection.


Financial challenges are like walking down a path. It is either a pleasant trip or fraught with dangers.

This firm’s goal is to put you in control of your life, as much as reasonably possible.  Please do not hide from reality, this is just delaying the inevitable.

Trust me, no one, absolutely no one, wants to file bankruptcy. Having said that, and in order to protect your health and peace of mind, along with that of your family, bankruptcy may be your only option.

Disastrous decisions can be avoided.

The faster you seek good legal advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney the less likely you are to make some disastrous, yet innocent, decisions. If anyone tells you that bankruptcy is simple – take a look at this flowchart of basic bankruptcy procedures.

How can you get help?

When we designed this website the goal was to allow everyone 24/7 hour access to information about bankruptcy.  The gift is that our website is working even if we are not, which means everyone can access information whenever they need. We use short educational videos to educate our clients and an intake form to assist Diane in reviewing your personal situation.

There are no fees for this initial conference.

After viewing the videos and talking to Diane, you will be instructed how to enter your own creditor information on-line. Next, you will meet with Diane and Jay for approximately 3 hours to ask and answer questions, review the documents and plan for the future.

Unlike law firms who proudly announce at national marketing conferences that their clients are referred to as “sales” and their staff as “inventory” (I hope you are disgusted by this attitude).  Our firm is committed to treat our clients with respect.

Diane L. Drain, lawyer, consumer advocate, retired law professor, wife and mother

My goal is to educate you about the options and the process from beginning to end.  I also help you plan for your future.  Our firm is Committed to Quality, not focused on Quantity. In other words, we treat our clients as individuals, with unique needs.  Unlike the TV advertising law firms, we never treat clients like they have entered a used car sales lot.  Some law firms refer their clients as “sales” and their staff as “inventory”.  They proudly announce to fellow attorneys that they “gross income that month is ….”  They never talk about the value of the services they provide their clients.  That attitude is disgusting and will never be tolerated in my firm.

You meet and work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, not just staff.

Unlike most firms, I meet with all my clients and does not delegate this duty to staff. But, staff and Diane are always available to answer questions. Please review some comments that our clients have shared with us about our services. You can also check us out at AVVO.com.

bankruptcyWhat are Pre-Petition Assets and Debts?  What are Post-Petition Assets and Debts?

In general, assets that you own prior to filing for bankruptcy are called pre-petition assets. Some of these valuable assets maybe used to pay those debts you owed before filing bankruptcy, called pre-petition debts. Normally, any assets that you acquire after your bankruptcy is filed are yours, called post-petition assets and your pre-petition creditors cannot take them. By the same token, any liabilities you incur after the bankruptcy was filed, called post-petition liabilities, are not normally discharged in your bankruptcy proceeding. This may change somewhat in a chapter 13 case.

There are situations when bankruptcy is not the best option.

Diane will help you determine what other options might be available. But, in the great majority of cases, bankruptcy is the only option left because of the creditors refusal to be reasonable and help you solve your current dilemma. It is her job to help you throughout the entire process and to make sure you understand your rights and the complex legal issues involved with bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a very complicated interplay of several laws and should not be undertaken without adequate representation.

Do not use document preparers or inexperienced attorneys who do not practice bankruptcy law full time. I don’t say this to scare you, but because I have seen innocent people make really bad decisions without understanding the consequences. 

Most consumer bankruptcy lawyers offer free consultations, this includes our office. 

You cannot beat free!!

Financial problems have been with us for thousands of years …..



 Shays’ Rebellion In 1786

Shays’ Rebellion In 1786, engraving is from Hulton Archive/Getty Images

For instance – Shays’ Rebellion In 1786, poor farmers in Massachusetts rebelled when creditors came calling during a recession.

Today, as in 1786, the majority of Americans no longer blame the borrower, but are pointing fingers at the credit card companies and mortgage lenders. Corey Calabrese, a Fordham Law student who is an administrator of the school’s walk-in clinic for debtors at Manhattan Civil Court. Public sentiment is on their side, she added: “For the first time, Americans are no longer blaming the borrower but are looking at the credit card companies.” According to a Quinnipiac University poll in February 2009, 62 percent of those polled blamed mortgage lenders “who loaned the money to people who may not be able to pay it back.” Only a quarter blamed homeowners.


This fresh start principle is also set forth in the Bible. According to the Old Testament, every 50th year all debts were to be cancelled. This was known as the “Year of Jubilee”.  (Leviticus 25:10-15)  Also, every 7th year, creditors were to release their clients from debts.  This was called the “Lord’s release”.  (Deuteronomy 15:1-2) “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, you shall not charge him interest.” (25 New King James Bible) “Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them” (Nebemiah 5:10,11).


Other articles or links…

Root of All Evil Credit Has Taken the Place of Money (a blog post)

Articles on bankruptcy issues and questions



WHY IS BANKRUPTCY DIANE’S PRIMARY FOCUS?

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN FILING A BANKRUPTCY FOR A CONSUMER?

BANKRUPTCY BASICS (VIDEOS BY THE BANKRUPTCY COURT)

Bankruptcy Basics (videos produced by the United States Bankruptcy Courts)

WHAT IS A CHAPTER 7, PLUS INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEANS TEST & EXEMPT PROPERTY

WHAT IS PRE-BANKRUPTCY PLANNING?

MANAGING ALL THE PAPERWORK, MEETING WITH TRUSTEE/CREDITORS & THE DISCHARGE

WHY IS PROFESSIONAL HELP ESSENTIAL IN A GOOD BANKRUPTCY?

AMERICANS ARE NOW SAYING THAT CREDITORS MUST TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY

Today, as in 1786, the majority of Americans no longer blame the borrower, but are pointing fingers at the credit card companies and mortgage lenders. Corey Calabrese, a Fordham Law student who is an administrator of the school’s walk-in clinic for debtors at Manhattan Civil Court. Public sentiment is on their side, she added: “For the first time, Americans are no longer blaming the borrower but are looking at the credit card companies.” According to a Quinnipiac University poll in February 2009, 62 percent of those polled blamed mortgage lenders “who loaned the money to people who may not be able to pay it back.” Only a quarter blamed homeowners.


Very few of us have the ability to completely control the financial part of our lives. Companies fail, jobs are lost, people get sick and families are broken. Creditors are happy to give everyone credit, whether or not they qualify.

These creditors have absolutely no regard to the person’s ability to repay the credit.

The creditor makes more money when a borrower is late, defaults on a loan, or overdraws the credit limit or bank account. Therefore, that creditor is gambling that they will earn more from borrowers in interest, penalties and additional charges then that creditor will lose as a result of bankruptcy. They are leveraging their losses by giving out as much credit as everyone’s mail boxes can hold.

Today, it is an extremely rare creditor to have any loyalty to their customers.

Those same creditors will not work with the a borrower who is suffering a financial set back. That creditor does not care if the borrower has never been late. All that creditor wants is “their money”.  Don’t believe me – just ask their collection agents.  What they won’t tell you is the caller is paid a percentage of whatever you pay – usually 25%.  Therefore, they are happy to lie and bully.

TRUSTEE SALES (FORECLOSURES) & BANKRUPTCY

IMPORTANT DEADLINES AND TIMELINE FOR CHAPTER 7 & 13

USURY - PAST and PRESENT

religiousUSURY: traced back 4,000 years. But it has always been despised, condemned, restricted or banned by moral, ethical, legal or religious entities. The oldest references to usury are found in religious manuscripts of India, dating back to 2000-1400 BC where the ‘usurer’ is associated with any interest lender. In the Hindu Sutra (700-100 BC) as well as in the Buddhist Jatakas (600-400 BC) there are many references to the payment of interest, along with expressions of disdain for the practice. Vasishtha, a prominent lawmaker of the era, drafted a law that banned the high caste Brahmans and Kshatryas from being usurers or money-lenders. In the second century AD, the term usury becomes relative, meaning that interest above the legal rate could not be charged; that would be a usurious loan.

bankruptcy Usury – Historical References & Bankruptcy



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